Posted by: twistsoffeet | June 20, 2011

The Alpenhorn Gasthaus


I really do not want to post about my sickness and recovery today, although to some extent it will be impossible to avoid.

Instead I will tell you about my last day before being hospitalized.

I had started to get sick in Festus, MO, and was worse by the time I got to Washington, MO, although I did not yet recognize just how ill I was.

My riding companions, Sandy and Leo, and I got up at a decent hour and went for breakfast before heading across the Missouri River to ride the Katy Trail.  The trail is nice with a very low grade incline. It should have been easy to ride, but pulling a trailer on crushed limestone while sick is not easy.

When we reached the Hermann Trail Head, my companions said their farewells to me. I needed to rest and did not want to ride the two miles into Hermann.  There were signs saying “no camping along trail right of way,” but someone else had pitched a tent at the trail head, so I thought I might be able to as well.

Soon a park service employee informed me I would not be able to camp there. When I asked where camping was available, he told me he was not from around there, and did not know where I could camp.

Another cyclist had ridden up as this was taking place, and he directed me to the visitor’s center, saying someon there could direct me to the city park.

So off I pedaled, very slowly and very reluctantly.

I easily found the visitor’s center and received directions to the camping area in the park.  I went outside and barely had energy to sit on a bench outside.

This is when the cyclist I had met at the trail head walked up with his wife and asked if I would like to shower and sleep in a real bed.  Adrian and Kate informed me that they owned a bed and breakfast and had a vacancy for the night.  When I said that I could not afford that, they said it was complimentary and all I had to do was ride two more miles.

I agreed and they gave directions.  I pedaling right past the place because apparently I was not hearing very well.  And did not recognize the name.

I rode and pushed my bike up a big hill, where Adrian caught up with me and let me know I had climbed the hill for nothing.  At least the ride down was fast and fun.

They let me put my gear in the garage and showed me to my little room, which formerly had been a little farm out-building or shed.  I do not use words like “charming” very often, but that is exactly what this place was.  Small, but comfortable and very charming.

I had access to the hot tub and took advantage of that, thinking it would help, but it did not.

Dinner was a four course and delicious meal with wine. And although I loved the meal, by this time I was beginning to completely come apart health-wise.  I ended up not getting much sleep, but that was because I was so sick. However, breakfast was delicious and a three course meal.

I packed up and headed back to town and the city park.  I tried three times to leave the park and find a church where I might stay, but the furthest I was able to ride was about 50 yards outside the park on my first attempt the other two attempts I could not even get out of the park.

Finally, I pitched my tent and crawled inside. By this time, I was unable to take in any fluids at all and I was getting sicker and sicker.  Early the next morning I spoke to my daughter who recognized that I was not making much sense, so she called the Hermann Police to check on me.  It was good that she insisted I go to the hospital, because I ended up spending four days and three nights; because I am stubborn and like to think of myself as invincible, which I obviously am not.

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